Newsletter No. 33 - July 2011
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How The Mighty Are Falling
THE NATIONAL MONEY SUPPLY: A Preview
3. BRIEF BOOK
(1) Judi Marshall, Gill Coleman and
Peter Reason (eds), LEADERSHIP FOR
SUSTAINABILITY: An Action Research Approach
(2) Julian Pratt, STEWARDSHIP ECONOMY:
Private property without private ownership
(3) Ad Broere, ENDING THE GLOBAL
(4) Walter Rybeck, RE-SOLVING
THE ECONOMIC PUZZLE
UK CO-OPERATIVE ECONOMY
1. EDITORIAL: How The Mighty Are
The current UK
scandal over The News of the World may be turning
into a full blown Anglo-American threat to reduce
the power of the Murdoch empire over the policies of
governments. It may extend also to a reappraisal
of the ethics of the communications media as a whole.
Meanwhile, further development continues
in the apparently unstoppable financial crisis in the
US and Europe (Italy now), that was triggered in 2007-08
by the privileges and powers we give to the big
banks to control our lives. How much longer will
we let those last? See Item 2.
2. MANAGING THE
NATIONAL MONEY SUPPLY: A Preview
As the present national and international
financial crisis continues to develop, conventional
thinking sees no clear solution to it.
3 of the book I am writing on the future
of the money system for Green Books, Future
Money: Breakdown or Breakthrough?, provides
one. It spells out the increasingly obvious answer
to how we should create and manage the national money
supply in 21st-century societies. The proposed reform
will both ease the social and economic consequences
of the present crisis, and reduce the probability of
similar crises in future.
More importantly in the longer term, this
will be a central part of the wider reform of
the way the money system works as a whole. We
need that comprehensive reform urgently now, in order
to motivate the world's people to save, and not as now
to destroy, the ecological, social and economic resources
of our planet on which our present civilisation depends.
With Green Books' agreement, I am making
the current draft of Chapter 3 available now
in advance of the expected publication in September of
the final report of the UK Independent Commission on
Click on the button below to download it.
Please feel free to forward the pdf on
to anyone you think might be interested in it.
(I wlll be glad to have any comments you
may like to send me. But please forgive me if I don't
have time to reply to them in the next few months.)
3. BRIEF BOOK REVIEWS
(1) Judi Marshall, Gill Coleman
and Peter Reason (eds), LEADERSHIP
FOR SUSTAINABILITY: An Action Research Approach,
Greenleaf Publishing, 2011, hardback, 260pp. Click
on the link above for a description of the book, praise
of it, its contents, and details about its editors.
It is based on the editors' experience
of running the MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice
at Bath University School of Management from 1997 to
2010. Having myself been involved in some
of the early programmes of the course, I have found
the book fascinating.
I strongly recommend it. Anyone
concerned with adult education for the future that
we now face worldwide should at least take
a look at its details. The course is now being taken
up more widely, for example at Ashridge Business School
and Lancaster University School of Management.
The book is based (pp 3-4) on conviction
"the ecology of our planet
is under extreme stress as a result of human activity.
We believe that this is incontrovertible in broad
terms, although we appreciate that many details are
open to debate. The challenge of climate change often
grabs the headlines, but is only part of the sustainability
story. Other important issues include loss of biodiversity,
mass extinction, pollution, depletion of carbon-based
energy sources, pressure on water supplies and food
insecurity. ... Our concerns are for the more-than-human
world ... The challenge we face is that at individual,
community, societal and global levels, humanity
simply does not know how to respond to the enormous
challenge of living sustainably on the Earth".
At the centre of the book are the
stories of 29 graduates from the course, all
interesting in their own different ways.
One of the final Reflections (p 235) is:
"For many of us (tutors as well
as students) the MSc was an emotional (and spiritual)
rollercoaster; we had moments of sublime recognition of
the planet and its inhabitants as an interconnected
whole: we had moments of despair at
the degeneration of complex ecosystems and the foolishness
and destructiveness of our species. And we struggled
with how to cope with a 'normal' world that,
for the most part, acts as if none of this is happening".
(2) Julian Pratt, STEWARDSHIP
ECONOMY: Private property without private ownership, Lulu,
2011, paperback, 217 pp.
Julian Pratt describes the purpose of his
book as "the limited one of pursuing the consequences
of a single idea - what it could be like if everybody
shared equally in the wealth of the natural world.
It does not envisage the 'end of politics' or suggest
that this single reform is a panacea for all social and
economic ills. But it does provide a firm foundation
on which to build a fair and sustainable economy."
In practice it is not a very limited purpose,
of course. But his book brings together admirably
the various necessary reforms to deal with property
in land, managing the environment, raising revenue, and
distributing social benefits. I recommend it very warmly.
here to browse the text or to buy a copy from Lulu
- itself an interesting publisher.
(3) Ad Broere, ENDING
THE GLOBAL CASINO?, Humane
Economy Publishings, The Netherlands, 2010, paperback,
2005pp. (Click on the link above for book details
and an interview with the author on why he believes
the sustainability of the global financial system
Clearly and simply written, this is another
excellent book that I commend warmly. It clarifies
in an accessible way how our economy and our monetary
system work, and is "an imminent danger to us
It argues that " the extent and persistence
of the financial and economic crisis to which the world
is still exposed indicate that the sustainability
of the global financial system has expired" ...
and "it is necessary for us to act".
It explains why ending the global casino
will make way for a truly better world, with money in
a supporting instead of a leading role.
(4) Walter Rybeck, RE-SOLVING
THE ECONOMIC PUZZLE, Shepheard-Walwyn,
2011, paperback, 238pp.
I welcome this latest book in Shepheard-Walwyn's
series on Ethical
Re-solving the Economic Puzzle is
primarily addressed to American readers. The message
in the final Part of the book on "Reclaiming
America" is that:
"Public collection of land values
to replace taxes that suppress the economy is a strategy
that for too long has been missing in action from the
American policy agenda. Without substantial
taxation of socially created land values, many public
and private remedies for treating social ills are rendered
That message underlies the "Ten
Vital Paths" that Walter Rybeck proposes
for the "major policy directions that can bolster
But it is, of course, a strategy that applies
to every part of the world as one element in
the comprehensive reform of the money system that
we now urgently need. And the detailed background to
it in the book, for example on "Forgotten
Chapters in US History", will be of interest
to a wider readership.
PS. Brian Hodgkinson's A
New Model of the Economy from Shepheard-Walwyn
is now available in paperback. For my 2008 review
of the hardback, click
UK CO-OPERATIVE ECONOMY: Britain's
return to co-operation, 2011. Click on the
link above and then download this 23-page report.
"It has been a year of
resilience and growth for the co-operative sector in
2011. ... From those responsible for establishing
national policy, to villagers wishing to take control
of their own shops and services, the co-operative
sector is being turned to."
There is much good news in this
report. And I believe that many more people
will join the co-operative movement and set up co-operative
enterprises, when we become free not to have to use
money which has been created as debt, on which interest
has to be paid and which eventually has to be repaid
Ed Mayo is Secretary General of
Co-operatives UK. Click
here to read his 12 July comments on the
opportunity the UK government is giving to co-operatives
and mutuals to bid for and deliver public services.
His blog can be read here - http://edmayo.wordpress.com.
18th July 2011